Conservation in Action
Did you know?
Nearly 3 billion birds have been lost in North America since 1970. Roughly 25% of those were grassland birds.
The Northern Grassland Restoration Incentives Program, or N-GRIP, is the flagship conservation delivery program of the Northern Great Plains Joint Venture. It is designed to complement the various programs offered by our partners in the landscape, especially the USDA, which is the largest conservation funder in the region. N-GRIP consolidates various funding sources into a streamlined program that works across jurisdictions. As the name implies, N-GRIP aims to restore grasslands in the Northern Great Plains.
Conservation happens through three general strategies: protection, restoration, and management (sometimes called enhancement). N-GRIP focuses on assisting landowners with the management of intact habitats (i.e. prairie) as well as restoring—and then managing—habitats that have been converted to other uses (i.e. farming). We typically work with producers who “protect” their land by maintaining an active and sustainable ranching enterprise.
The foundation of N-GRIP is to restore the function of grasslands and the ecological processes that they provide, which has mutual benefits to producers as well as wildlife.
A practical measure of success for the Joint Venture is to monitor the impact of conservation actions on important birds. There are five declining species we use as a barometer for ecological conditions in the Northern Great Plains: Baird's Sparrow, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Lark Bunting, Thick-billed Longspur, and Sprague's Pipit. If we can reverse the declines, in part through N-GRIP and the various work of producers and our partners, we will be achieving many other conservation and societal objectives. An important one is maintaining a viable ranching community.
N-GRIP Summary of Accomplishments
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